Monday, April 28, 2008

Experts: Sect opens up to retrieve children, hasten heaven

By Eliott C. McLaughlin CNN

(CNN) -- It took an extraordinary event -- the state's ictus of more than than 400 children -- for the polygamist Mormon religious sect to open up its Gates to foreigners after decennaries of seclusion.

Velvet states newsmen last hebdomad how her kid was taken from her astatine the FLDS spread in Eldorado, Texas.

To parents, it's not a substance of mere custody, an expert explained. Their redemption is on the line.

Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Of Nazareth Jesus of Latter-day Saints have got got recently held news conferences, launched a Web land site and allowed journalists into their formerly off-limits compound in Eldorado, Texas.

Previously, the Mormon offshoot's misgiving for foreigners prompted members to fold themselves off so their pureness wasn't corrupt and so their rites and faith didn't pull scrutiny, experts say.

"Because of their history of persecution, they have what you'd name a paranoia complex," said Dr. W. Toilet Walsh, a Mormon surveys expert who testified on behalf of FLDS parents during the detention battle. "They've never really reached out to outsiders."

FLDS lawyer Perch Charlie Parker could not be reached for comment, but explained to KSTU-TV inch Salt Lake City, Utah, that his clients launched a Web land site because society is essentially nescient about the sect.

"Because no 1 cognizes anything about them -- they have got got no face, they have no voice, nil -- a large portion of it is to give a voice to these people," he said.

Lone-Star State government raided the Longing for Sion spread earlier this calendar month after, they said, they received a study of kid abuse. The miss who made the study hasn't been found, but child-welfare officials state they establish grounds of kid and sexual abuse. A justice concurred April 18, opinion to maintain the children in state custody, at least temporarily.

The sect's sudden openness looks an effort to reunite female parents and children. However, the bet may be higher, said Walsh, who explained that FLDS members believe polygyny and ably protective for many children are indispensable to reaching the peak grade of heaven. Don't Miss

According to FLDS beliefs, you must be free from sinfulness -- as with most Christian faiths -- to acquire to heaven. Those deemed "wicked" travel to Hell until they atone for their sins, said Walsh, a mainstream Mormon doing post-doctorate surveys at the University of St. Thomas-Houston inch Texas.

Those who aren't deemed wicked spell to the "spirit world" to expect the concluding judgement that orders in which of the three degrees of Heaven they will dwell for eternity. Everyone will eventually travel to one degree of heaven, Walsh explained, but to ascend to the peak tier, you must first larn certain lessons -- how to be a good parent and partner among them.

"To really bask heaven, you have got got got to be married and you have to have your children with you," Walsh said. "Everything experienced on World will be in its more than perfected word form in heaven."

If you haven't learned the lessons you needed to larn on Earth, "you would have got got got to larn these lessons in the spirit world" before entering heaven, he said.

If your children are taken away, you may have to larn how to be a good parent in the spirit world, thereby postponing your transition to heaven, Walsh said.

In short, the parents are willing to give their secretiveness in exchange for the children -- a degree of despair that Walsh believes Lone-Star State government could tap to attain an "amenable" compromise.

But don't error FLDS openness for candor, said Marci Hamilton, a professor at Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law who have studied polygamist religious sects for 10 years.

The FLDS is only as unfastened as it necessitates to be. Everything Christian church members offering -- the news conferences, the interviews, the circuits of the YFZ compound, even the Web site's name -- have been scripted to elicit sympathy, she said.

The sect's Web site,, is prevailing with photographs and pictures of crying women and children, one male child looking fearfully into the photographic camera during the raid, declaring, "I don't desire to go."

The land land land land site also includes a timeline with subject lines such as as "officers military unit their manner into homes," "sacred site desecrated," "children's artlessness threatened" and "mothers and children torn apart."

Other than a nexus to a PayPal page where visitants can direct donations, there is no manner to attain the . The Web site itself is anonymously registered in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and efforts to reach the proprietor via e-mail were fruitless.

As for the interviews, "the FLDS have been good at getting hand-picked wives on the airwaves," William Rowan William Rowan William Rowan Hamilton said.

The women, she said, are sending the same message: The Christian church and its chemical compound offering following a "wonderful lifestyle," and the female parents simply desire to convey their children back before they are corrupted by outside influences.

"They always set the women up presence because this is a very oppressive patriarchy, and the work force are not sympathetic characters," said Hamilton, the writer of "Justice Denied: What United States Must Make to Protect its Children."

"They desire to carry Americans that they don't necessitate to worry about things and that this is a nice, small spiritual community and they take attention of everyone," Hamilton added. "It's intended to rock the public, and if the public acquires swayed, it sets pressure level on the prosecutors."

The women also repeatedly state the hunt warrant served at YFZ spread was based on a fake report, which takes William Rowan Hamilton to believe the church's "legal representatives are using the airs as much as they can to set up a very weak lawsuit on owed process."

Walsh said he believes spiritual sect members realize, "If you desire the best opportunity to acquire your children back, public sentiment will matter."

In his interview with KSTU, lawyer Charlie Parker described his clients as "terrified." Church members are Internet "savvy" and ticker television, so they understand what can go on to a religious grouping that walls itself off, he said.

"They cognize about Waco. They thought they were going to be victims of the same sort of thing," Charlie Parker said, invoking the 1993 federal foray on the Branch Davidian chemical compound in Lone-Star State that killed 74 people, many of them children.

Comparisons to the Waco foray -- an event generally ill-received side the American populace -- is another maneuver to elicit emotion, William Rowan Hamilton said.

"They are trying to forestall the inevitable statement that there is a confederacy of maltreatment that all the women are involved in," she said.

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